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3.1 a.out backends

BFD supports a number of different flavours of a.out format, though the major differences are only the sizes of the structures on disk, and the shape of the relocation information.

The support is split into a basic support file `aoutx.h' and other files which derive functions from the base. One derivation file is `aoutf1.h' (for a.out flavour 1), and adds to the basic a.out functions support for sun3, sun4, 386 and 29k a.out files, to create a target jump vector for a specific target.

This information is further split out into more specific files for each machine, including `sunos.c' for sun3 and sun4, `newsos3.c' for the Sony NEWS, and `demo64.c' for a demonstration of a 64 bit a.out format.

The base file `aoutx.h' defines general mechanisms for reading and writing records to and from disk and various other methods which BFD requires. It is included by `aout32.c' and `aout64.c' to form the names aout_32_swap_exec_header_in, aout_64_swap_exec_header_in, etc.

As an example, this is what goes on to make the back end for a sun4, from `aout32.c':

       #define ARCH_SIZE 32
       #include "aoutx.h"

Which exports names:


from `sunos.c':

       #define TARGET_NAME "a.out-sunos-big"
       #define VECNAME    sunos_big_vec
       #include "aoutf1.h"

requires all the names from `aout32.c', and produces the jump vector


The file `host-aout.c' is a special case. It is for a large set of hosts that use "more or less standard" a.out files, and for which cross-debugging is not interesting. It uses the standard 32-bit a.out support routines, but determines the file offsets and addresses of the text, data, and BSS sections, the machine architecture and machine type, and the entry point address, in a host-dependent manner. Once these values have been determined, generic code is used to handle the object file.

When porting it to run on a new system, you must supply:

        HOST_MACHINE_ARCH       (optional)
        HOST_MACHINE_MACHINE    (optional)

in the file `../include/sys/h-XXX.h' (for your host). These values, plus the structures and macros defined in `a.out.h' on your host system, will produce a BFD target that will access ordinary a.out files on your host. To configure a new machine to use `host-aout.c', specify:

       TDEFAULTS = -DDEFAULT_VECTOR=host_aout_big_vec
       TDEPFILES= host-aout.o trad-core.o

in the `config/XXX.mt' file, and modify `configure.in' to use the `XXX.mt' file (by setting "bfd_target=XXX") when your configuration is selected.

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